You'll hear the ABS motor/pump and may be able to feel a vibration in the
brake pedal. But this wouldn't normally make the front of the vehicle
Later in your post you mention that you thought you might have run through
some oil. And actually, based on everything you list, I find that more
plausible. If you've ever tried to stop a vehicle when just one spot of
the tire had something slippery on it, you'll know that it makes kind of a
jerking brake-slip-brake-slip type of reaction.
I tend to think, like you, that the ABS was probably doing its job. I
hope you're not learning this here, but it's important to review. The
first time my ABS activated when I went over something slippery with one
wheel, I didn't stop very well. And that was because I didn't apply any
further brake pressure when the ABS activated. I've since learned that
applying further brake pressure not only can be done, but is imperative.
The ABS was only activating on one wheel. The others had much more
braking power left. Since I've learned this, my stops with one wheel on a
slippery surface have been much less harrowing. In fact, once the ABS
activates, the best option in many circumstances is to depress the brake
pedal as hard as possible.
If you don't have a good feeling for how your ABS system controls your
braking, I wholeheartedly recommend taking your car to a safe area (won't
run into anything) with a slippery surface to do some trial stops.
The recall you mention, Recall 068, was for reprograming the ABS/ESP
module. If your vehicle was eligible for the recall and it hasn't been
done, then this can still be an issue. But I don't think it was an issue
in your case. The recall addressed unintended ESP activation, which would
normally feel like one sudden jerk turning the vehicle to the left or